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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 10085
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I do not want to take up the offer of a careless driving fixed

Customer Question

I do not want to take up the offer of a careless driving fixed penalty 15.20 on 10/01/15 as I not believe I have committed any offence. I have a long standing clean driver's licence and the penalty puts 3 points on my licence and costs £100. I understand that as a result I now be called for a court hearing if necessary. Does paying penalty mean an admission of liability/wrong doing. Should I or shouldIi not contest. If I contest and lose what might fine be?
I was driving my mum home to Cambuslang, South Lanarkshire Scotland from my ill uncle's house in East Kilbride on Saturday Jan 10 2015 mid afternoon after several a snow showers. A makes officer and his female colleague (not named on the penalty notice in spite of my request) followed me for around a mile from the roundabout down East Greenlees Road, onto Cairns Road and then directed me onto Woodlands Crescent before stopping me two streets from home for the alleged careless driving incident they claim took place at the roundabout where Greenlees Road and East Greenlees Road meet nin Cambuslang, South Lanarkshire.
The male officer then asked me to leave my vehicle and elderly passenger and step into the back of the police car. They asked if I knew why they had stopped me. I said no. They then asked me if I had been able to see. I said yes. They then asked for my driver's licence and ran a check on me and my car. They then told me their account of event (see next below).
The officers colleague alleged I exited the roundabout in the wrong lane (the roundabout in question and the road I turned into-East Greenlees-have no marked lanes once you enter.) They also alleged that I turned off the roundabout into the wrong lane (again East Greenlees has not lanes marked once you enter.) They alleged that the driver of an oncoming white car (whom to my knowledge they did not stop or question) raised their hands in exasperation and had to stop due to my road positioning. I also has to modify my driving due to the oncoming car's road position as is the norm after this sweeping roundabout exit but I did not exhibit 'road rage' in spite of other driver's actions.
In fact, both myself and the oncoming driver had to slow and reposition on the East Greenlees winding country road, as witnessed by my front seat passenger, as drivers with local knowledge and frequent experience of driving in the area like myself know that after heavy rain/snow that doesn't lie there is extensive flooding on East Greenlees Road which pools extensively at the sides and blurs the edges of the where the road ends and the grassy embankments on each side starts. Therefore, local drivers know to drive near the centre line on their side in such conditions, crossing they unmarked centre line when necessary) and reduce speed (road is officially national speed limit road), slowing at corners to watch and allow for oncoming traffic. There is also a passing place on the farm side of this road (the opposite side from my natural driving position).
I remained calm and polite throughout thanked the officers for their observations but did not concur. I asked how to contest and if the officers' names and badge numbers would be on penalty notice. They said it would not be fair to other driver if they did not issue penalty. They then asked me if I ever been in trouble with the police and what my profession was before cautioning me and giving me the penalty notice and telling me they were not in the business of re-educating experience drivers..
On the day in question I had modified my speed (never above 33mph) and road position a number of time on East Greenlees Road in keeping with the road and the road conditions. Therefore I reiterate, I not believe I have committed any offence and I am not accepting the fixed penalty to as I wish to retain my clean driver's licence.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Scots Law
Expert:  JGM replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question.
You should definitely contest this. From what you say there is no careless driving. If you pay the penalty notice you won't get a criminal record but you will get the points which could affect you insurance premium.
The case will go to court and you will get a citation. A trial will be assigned and evidence will be heard. You'll have to give evidence as will the other witnesses and the sheriff will decide the case.
If you're found not guilty that's an end of it. If you're found guilty the fine and points will be greater than the fixed penalty. You should employ a road traffic lawyer to represent you.
I hope this helps. Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.

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